If You Screw Up My Food I Will Love You Forever
I have two different restaurant experiences in the last month that both have the potential to teach us a pretty big lesson.
Example 1. Last night my wife and I went on a date. During the date we visited a restaurant called The Village Tavern. Food was pretty good. Nothing special. But worth a revisit sometime. Maybe.
But, that wasn’t the lesson. During the visit my wife received her food at a normal time. About ten minutes or so after we sat down. Just right. Her salad was pretty good. I had a bite. Our server informed me that my food had also been ready but someone had dropped it on the way out to bring it to me. Honestly, I didn’t care. I wasn’t starving. I can stand to wait. But, what he missed was a chance to blow me away. I think he might of been implying that he’d give me free food when he said, “would you like to order something else while you are waiting?” I said no. Didn’t want to pay for it. Didn’t want to appear cheap by asking, “Will I have to pay for it?”
A few minutes later the manager rolled around. Super nice guy. He apologized. I had already forgiven. But, he missed a chance to make me a fan of his restaurant.
What he and the server could have done was say, “We want to get you an appetizer for you while you wait -on us. Which one would you like for us to bring you?” They would have had to make me take the offer. I’m pretty shy about those things, but I would finally done so. Maybe they could have thrown in a desert too.
I’m not saying that they should have done this, but that they could. What would have been the result? I would now be a raving fan of their restaurant. I would have told my friends. I bet my meal would’ve tasted better as a result of my enthusiasm. I would be back. Now? Not so sure. Because I’m angry? Not at all. Because I wasn’t impressed. No one chose to impress me.
Why didn’t they make this move? I think it’s because they do not believe in their brand enough. If you believe that your brand represents excellence and “wow” then you will refuse to leave any chance to exhibit excellence and wow to your customers. Really, It’s the manager’s manager’s fault. He or she isn’t creating a culture where the brand is viewed as something special, something to protect at all costs. They must not believe it themselves. It must just be a job. Village Tavern must just be another restaurant. That’s what they must believe. Now, with their help, so do I.